I stayed with 8 nuns and one monk. I made friends with a layperson who is similar age. He is a fascinating guy. He has been living in Monasteries for 18 years and I have never met a person with such a deep spirituality. The male quarters are separated and talking to nuns on their own is forbidden. The nuns are lovely and the monk is friendly and all of the community friendly and hospitable. We all eat cook and clean together in community areas of the monastery.
There is a lot of formality and rules that took me a while to adjust too. I was to loud and clumsy at times. Silence and mindfulness are a way of life for monastics. They offer lots of grace and encouragement, also gently reminders of the rules and etiquette.
I adjusted reasonably well after first week and was made to feel part of the community. I had no phone, laptop or any type of entertainment. I spent time reading and meditating in my single room. Basically, after lunch till 6pm is free time.
14 days of this was a fascinating experience and I discovered a lot about my self. 150 acres of land and lots of bush was beautiful and awesome to walk around. Plenty of Roos and native wild life. Fabulous location and the property that is going through a million dollar transformation over the next few years. It will be transformed in truly beautiful place.
This monastery is founded on the Theravada tradition and their denouncing of everything is something you need to experience to understand there level of dedication to Dharma (the teaching of the Historical Buddha)
Being born and bread in Australia it was a fantastic learning curve for me in the furtherance of my cultural intelligence tool box. I will continue to visit and stay at times. I have decided to offer my skills when needed in the new construction. The whole experience was life giving and extremely educational in terms of seeing Buddhism in practice not just philosophical sense.